Apr 22, 2014

Review: Pretty Dark Nothing

Pretty Dark Nothing
Pretty Dark Nothing by Heather L. Reid

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Book description:

Quinn is a normal teenager, but for 23 days she has not slept for more than a few minutes at a time. Demons have invaded her dreams, stalking her and whispering of her death. The lack of sleep and crippling fear are ruining her life, and energy drinks and caffeine pills don't help. Then Quinn dozes off in the school hallway, and Aaron, an amnesiac with psychic ability, accidentally enters her nightmare. Aaron has a secret locked away in his memory that the demons are determined to keep him from discovering. Together, Quinn and Aaron can banish the darkness back to the underworld for good, but the demons will stop at nothing to drive the two apart.


This book is creepy from the get go. Quinn was in the incredibly awkward position of KNOWING she was going to be considered crazy if she admitted that she was seeing spooky shadows AND they were talking to her. Her fear to open up to anyone or to be near anyone because of the shadows interfering in her life caused such isolation it was mind jarring to try to imagine the terror & horror.

I respected Quinn's bravery & common sense not to just spill her guts about what she was experiencing, but at the same time how could she not think she might actually need mental help. There are some dark turns of events over & over. Her school thinks she is crazy any way so why not open up to someone. I wish she had opened up to the only person who could have understood her situation. I thought it was going to be a strange - weird person falls for and saves the other utterly weird person, but I missed that by a beat or 2 possibly.

It was a very surprise ending that I can not totally resolve in my mind. I am glad there is a 2nd book that will hopefully pull things together a little better. The ending seemed to jump over the cliff and land in a totally different book. I did really enjoy the book until the end, and book 2 possibly makes sense of it. It was definitely worth reading and giving the second book a chance.

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Apr 21, 2014

Review: If It Rains Pancakes: Haiku and Lantern Poems

If It Rains Pancakes: Haiku and Lantern Poems
If It Rains Pancakes: Haiku and Lantern Poems by Brian P. Cleary

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The illustrations and poems are so cute and funny. It is great to see the simple Haiku made easier for young kids. This book is a great example of how the poems can be silly, funny, senseless.... Just easy... Give it a try. Fun, educational and beautiful to look at.

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Apr 17, 2014

Review: My Zombie Hamster

My Zombie Hamster
My Zombie Hamster by Havelock McCreely

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


A laugh-out-loud funny middle-grade debut with a scary twist, My Zombie Hamster will appeal to readers who like their animal stories mixed with chills. Fans of R.L. Stine's Goosebumps Most Wanted series will grab this one right up.

Matt Hunter and his buddies are looking forward to Christmas--actually, they're looking forward to receiving the latest sword-and-fantasy video game. But Matt's parents have other thoughts--they give him a fluffy little mammal, a hamster called Snuffles, for the holiday. And his grandmother makes it worse by giving him a hamster cage and wheel. But the hamster isn't all that cute--at least not after part of its cheek and belly fall right off--without bothering it a bit! And why is it staring at Matt with black beady eyes and a lean and hungry look?

Say hello to Anti-Snuffles, the zombie hamster! Or better yet, run!

REVIEW: 5 *****

I loved this hilariously spooky book I received free from the publisher to provide an honest review for. I hoped my son would find it as funny as a zombie goldfish book he recently read, but this story was a little scary for younger kids who are afraid of zombies. It is quite funny for mid grade readers because it is more humorous than scary. The characters have become used to living a "normal" life (TV, water, food, homes, school, etc) inside the city walls. The "deadbeats" or zombies live outside the walls. All is safe and settled into "normal".

Young Matt and his friends were looking forward to receiving sword / fantasy games to play together until Matt's parents decided to surprise him with a pet hamster. His grandma contributed with a hamster care. Matt is not only quite disappointed, but he comes to find out the hamster was bought without the chip every human & pet has in them that notifies the authorities of they become a zombie & need immediately picked up!

Needless to say, one thing leads to another & Matt finds himself with a zombie hamster on his hands who seems to be recruiting all of the animals (pets too) into some sort of animal zombie force. Matt and his friends try to solve the problem to prevent his father getting in trouble & all goes to woop.

In the mist of all of the action he & his hang of knuckle head buddies get into trying to save the town, there are plenty of laughs, lessons, and lots of imaginative goings on to fill a youngster's mind.

Fully of fun, adventure, humorous observations from Matt's original point of view and some genuine friendship & heroism too. A+ writing with so many laughs.

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Apr 13, 2014

Review: Nine Words Max

Nine Words Max
Nine Words Max by Dan Bar-el

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Nine words Max by Dan Bar-el is a very witty little book for children. Prince Max loves to talk on and on sharing his vast wisdom with everyone in the kingdom. His 3 brothers (the other princes) get so tired of listening to Max go on & on sharing facts and educational junk. They just want to quietly be lazy & goofs. The princes don't know that Max's wisdom might could save them when the King & Queen take a vacation and a neighboring queen visits.

I also loved the humorous illustrations that added so much fun and whimsy to this book. I am glad I received this book from the publisher in order to provide an honest opinion. I honestly loved it. It was funny, light hearted, and even had a valuable lesson between the humor.

Find out what the princes do, with the wizard's help, to limit Max's talking, and the trouble they find themselves in realizing they actually need some wisdom and help at times when things aren't all fun and games.

Wonderfully written & humorously illustrated children's book. Loved it.

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  Maximilian is a prince who loves to talk: No topic is too small, no story too boring. Max's brothers are the opposite--the less said the better. When the king and queen go on a trip and leave the brothers alone, the 3 princes put a spell on Max that limits him to speaking only 9 words at a time. The brothers are delighted: peace and quiet at last! But when a fearsome dignitary arrives, they realize the true value of their brother's insatiable need for information. A cautionary tale and a tongue-in-cheek tribute to trivia buffs, Nine Words Max is also a sly satire of our modern world's obsession with media--the 3 reticent princes spend a lot of time sending silly messages, lying around watching puppet shows and speaking in 140 characters or less... This book is a funny, quirky and madcap

Apr 9, 2014

Blog Tour ~ Giveaway ~ The Impaler Legacy By Ioana Visan


The Impaler Legacy Omnibus by Ioana Visan

Impaler Legacy - Omnibus

Book Description

In a world crawling with vampires, Romania is the safest place left on earth. Thanks to the Little Council, there hasn't been a vampire on Romanian ground in over five centuries, until one day when Liana Cantacuzino is ordered to bring one in, covertly.

Enter Maximilien Hess, a thousand-year-old vampire determined to ruin the existing order of things. When all is revealed, Hess's secret changes everything, and a reluctant alliance is formed because the alternative is much worse.

The Impaler Legacy Omnibus, a vampire saga like no other, includes:
The Impaler’s Revenge (novella)
Sweet Surrender (short story)
A Victory that Counts (novella)
Casualties of War (short story)
Order Restored (novella)
The Third Wheel (short story)

Buy Links

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00J03AJKE
Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-impaler-legacy-omnibus-ioana-visan/1118924571?ean=2940045767170
Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/419016
iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/ro/book/the-impaler-legacy-omnibus/id841190833?mt=11

About the Author

Award-winning writer Ioana Visan has always dreamed about reaching the stars, but since she can't, she writes about it.

After fighting the apocalypse aftermath in "Human Instincts", she played with shapeshifters in “Blue Moon CafĂ© Series: Where Shifters Meet for Drinks”, and then she dealt with vampires in “The Impaler Legacy” series, before tackling longer works like a fantasy trilogy and a science fiction series.

Aside from publishing short stories in various Romanian magazines and anthologies, she published a short story collection "Efectul de nautil" and the Romanian edition of "Human Instincts".

She was awarded the Encouragement Award by The European Science Fiction Society at Eurocon 2013.
Ioana Visan

Social Links

Website: http://www.ioanavisan.tk
Blog: http://weirdvision2001.blogspot.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorIoanaVisan
Twitter: https://twitter.com/weirdvision
Amazon: http://amazon.com/author/ioanavisan
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/ioanavisan

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Apr 7, 2014

Review: Enmity

Enmity by E.J. Andrews

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Enmity (Enmity #1)
by E.J. Andrews
3.48 of 5 stars 3.48 · rating details · 27 ratings · 14 reviews
Love vs Life.
Good vs Evil.
War vs Warfare.

Which would you choose?

After a solar flare wipes out most of the world’s inhabitants, it leaves behind nothing but a desolate earth and a desperate population. Existence is no longer a certainty. And with factions now fighting for the power to rule, people start to become reckless with their lives. The world has become a dangerous place.

Amongst the ensuing chaos, Nate and Hermia — two victims of the new world order — are taken against their will to The Compound. Joined by eight other teenagers all chosen for a specific reason, Nate and Hermia are forced to train as assassins to overthrow the current president and make way for a new leader of the free world. Here, they learn to plan, fight, and most importantly... to survive.

Except, despite the casual cruelty of their new existence, both Nate and Hermia — two very strong but very different people — begin to form fragile bonds within the group. But they soon realize their happiness is short lived...because their training is just the beginning.

A war awaits...regardless of how ready or willing they may be.(less)
Paperback, 295 pages
Published April 2014 by Harlequin Australia
edition languageEnglish


I was very excited when I began this book, but quickly list interest. I don't mind jumping from head to head in books, but the 2 characters (Hermia & Nate) needed to be more distinctly different to make it easier for the reader to determine who was talking without accidentally forgetting or having to thumb back. Basically Enmity was too similar to many other books I have read lately. There was a lot if repetition (the uncle's fear on his face that Hermia knew what he was hiding), etc.

I received this book from the author to review and truly expected to like it. I did like it at first, but then it seemed a good build up really went nowhere. Well, nowhere that made good sense. All of the extra characters seemed to mesh together and had nothing very important about them.

The end did have an interesting & confusing twist that might have actually saved the last half if the book if it had come out sooner. Who knows? There were some decent action scenes, but they did not really seem to have much to do with the overall point. It was too much reading with too little or no pay off.

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Apr 4, 2014

The Frankenstien Journals by Scott Sonneborn REVIEW

The Frankenstein JournalsThe Frankenstein Journals by Scott Sonneborn

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The Frankenstein Journals
by Scott Sonneborn, Timothy Banks (Illustrations)
4.25 of 5 stars 4.25 · rating details · 4 ratings · 3 reviews
In this combination of two separately published works, J.D. discovers that he is the son of Frankenstein's monster, and armed with the Doctor's journal he sets out to find his "relatives"--the descendents and relations of the people whose body parts Doctor Frankenstein used.
Expected publication: July 1st 2014 by Frankenstein Journals

My thoughts....

I loved this heart touching children's read. Our your J.D. Has grown up an orphan and sets out to find his other parts ( literally the body parts that went into making his father Frankenstein's monster). If he is the son of Frankenstein's monster 14 year old J.D. reasons out that his cousins (only relatives) are the children of the original Frankenstein's part donors.

J.D. Goes on humorous adventures to discover his relatives while learning about himself along the way. This is a very sweet and heart touching read that I acquired for free via the publisher for review. The illustrations add so much whimsy and fun to the story.

My 8 year old son loved it. Nothing like following along the son of Frankenstein's monster to get a good laugh and plenty of adventure. I recommend this book very much. One of the best illustrated I have seen in a while.

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Review: Northwood

Northwood by Brian Falkner

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

by Brian Falkner (Goodreads Author), Donovan Bixley (Illustrator)
3.76 of 5 stars 3.76 · rating details · 116 ratings · 37 reviews
The dark forest of Northwood has never seen the likes of Cecilia Undergarment before …

Cecilia Undergarment likes a challenge. So when she discovers a sad and neglected dog, she is determined to rescue him. No matter what. But her daring dog rescue lands her in deep trouble. Trouble in the form of being lost in the dark forest of Northwood. A forest where ferocious black lions roam. A forest that hides a secret castle, an unlikely king and many a mystery. A forest where those who enter never return. But Cecilia is determined to find her way home. No matter what.(less)


I enjoyed reading Northwood by Brian Falkner because of the wonderful storytelling and unforgettable characters. I was provided this book by the publisher for a review. The book is written well and has just enough fairy tale in it to make it appealing. There seems to be a lot going on in the story at times, but it is all neatly worked out in the wonderful ending.

Our heroine, Cecilia, has a good heart and can hear animals talk. Another very "fairy tale" item is that she lives in a house made of balloons. At first I thought "this is just going to be too silly & far fetched, but I didn't stop reading. I am very glad I did not give up. Cecilia bravely saves the dog whose human woman had disappeared & Cecilia finds herself in a world (or a wooded area) of no good.

I hate spoilers, so I will just say that Cecilia makes some new friends where she lands and discovers some old ones. She & her new friends get into a major adventure and discover a major cover up. Cecilia's bravery continues throughout the book. She is faced with bad adults and hungry lions, as well as a past she did not see coming.

This wonderfully a toon packed book is a great read for a mid grader. It has a few illustrations to help carry the story along for young readers who still like a picture now & then. There is enough real life emotion and decision making, friends helping friends, etc. to be both believable and fun with the unbelievable parts. I really liked the story and think mid grade readers will as well.

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